Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Walking with Oma - A photo essay

For three glorious weeks Oma was with us here in Thane - pampering us in hundreds of ways - as Sheba went about recovering from her surgery.

Each morning, when it was time for the kids to go to school - Oma would be up.  At 6.30 they would leave the door and walk the 500 m to school.  Then at 1 PM she would pick them up from outside the school and walk back with them.

Each day Oma saw new things.  Here are some of her pictures from her walks with Asha and Enoch!

We will start with a shot of the lady in question with her two adoring grand-kids!

Enoch looks a bit pained at the thought of a day of school - but this too shall pass!

The monsoon means that there is greenery around.  Though you have to look carefully for it sometimes...

Just outside our appartment block is a fairly treacherous intersection.  Even early in the morning there are plenty of vehicles moving here and there... while the politicians and their loyal acolytes beam down...

Near the school is a shopping centre whose courtyard Oma captured...

Wildlife in Thane?  Mainly grey.  Many of them!

Dogs on the other hand, are usually stray... but this chap outside a real estate agent's shop looks decently fed.

The morning is the right time to smell jasmine...

And almost everyday we see this old lady, trying to gather flowers, probably as an offering to the gods.

School is finally reached.  Now to get through this jumble...  Everyone wants to go first of course.

The school is said to have 42 school busses.  Add parents in their cars and scooters and various private bus operators and you have an instant traffic jam almost every day!

And so our two make the final crossing and are swallowed up by the school.

Its a quarter to 7 and the day is just beginning for most.

But early enough for Mum to spy more beauty in small places:

And observe the pigeons being fed liberally by folks who are working at getting merit.  Someone us uncharitably called these creatures 'flying rats'


At 1 PM the scene is pretty different.

Along the way Oma spots an auto-rickshaw driver catching 40 winks....

While a cat watches from the back of a delivery bicycle for a local restaurant.

The merchants have long since opened their shops - hoping folks will fork out their rupees for their swag... which of course happens.

And at 1 PM the gates of the school open and a flood of students swooshes out.  Hollering, pushing, being the kids that they are...

Where are Asha and Enoch in all the crush.  Oma doesn't need to worry. They have agreed to meet beside a certain tree - and sure enough - they arrive, hot and rumpled and ready to walk home.

The school has probably something like 7000 students, attending the school in two shifts.  Its no wonder that they have so many large school busses.  Note the name of the company that builds these behemoths!

But our Oma, with Asha and Enoch in hand, are very much on foot as they walk home.  The way back takes the threesome past the coconut man and his wares:

 And taxi-cabs, waiting for fares...

 Wandering past some shops Oma saw this mass of electricals:

 As well as this pleasing green pyramid.

The streets are alive with vendours - many hailing from the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.  Here to make a living that is more than they would have eked out on their farms or as labourers in the village.

As Oma made the trip twice a day, she began to make friends.  These girls insisted that she take their photo:

Finally, it is time to leave the streets.  The final crossing is over and a small side gate opens into the compound that our apartment building shares with her 9 odd other sisters.

Oma's camera captures some more beauty of course.

The name of our building is rather crudely stuck to the tiles just outside the lift door.  Oma's camera sees all!

But that is more than made up for by the hint of a smile on our watchman.  A gentle new man who replaced a pretty hard-bitten grouchy chap two months ago.

Oma is home with Asha and Enoch.  Another two small pilgrimages looking at every-day beauty are over.  Time for lunch.  What a feast!

1 comment:

  1. Loved seeing the sights through Oma's eyes!